Green feces: what does it mean?
In many cases, complex diagnostic measures are not required to determine a health problem. Dispatches of the human body, their color and consistency, can say a lot about the state of the human gastrointestinal tract, the state of his liver and gallbladder. The color of feces is a kind of indicator of the activity of internal organs, giving a signal about the problems of their functioning. One of the alarming signs is green stool in adults and children.
- Causes of green feces in adults
- Causes of green feces in a child
- What to do if green feces appear?
- When should you see a doctor?
Causes of green feces in adults
The green tinge of feces is often found in the summer months when people consume large amounts of plant foods. If the feces of a newborn baby acquire a black and green hue, this circumstance can be considered the norm in the first month of the baby's life. In the future, the feces become dark olive, later - light brown. If the child's condition is not worrying, there is nothing unusual about these changes.
In contrast, a green discoloration of feces in an adult is a prerequisite for serious illness. Dark green stool can be a symptom of gastrointestinal bleeding due to peptic ulcer disease in these parts of the gastrointestinal tract. If there is a complete oxidation of hemoglobin in the blood, the stool turns black.
Additional symptoms of bleeding:
- Rapid pulse;
The green color of feces can appear with dysentery - an intestinal infection, the treatment of which is carried out in a hospital under the guidance of an infectious disease doctor.
Additional symptoms of dysentery:
- Nausea and vomiting;
- Severe epigastric pain.
Dysbacteriosis can also cause the appearance of green feces. With this pathology of the small intestine, the death of lacto- and bifidobacteria occurs, which provokes fermentation and decay of food. The human body is trying to cope with the disease, dead leukocytes accumulate in the gastrointestinal tract. This circumstance gives the feces a green color. Similar phenomena occur with stool as a result of prolonged use of antibacterial agents.
With liver pathologies and blood diseases, hemoglobin erythrocytes break down, producing an excess of bilirubin. It stains the patient's feces dark green.
Diseases provoking changes in the color and consistency of feces:
- Reflux esophagitis,
- Crohn's disease,
- Ulcerative colitis,
- Food poisoning
- Allergy to lactose and fructose;
- Pathology of the endocrine system (thyroid gland);
- Inflammation of the small intestine.
To clarify the pathology that caused the changes in the stool, the results of stool analysis are not enough. Most likely, the doctor will prescribe an additional examination to help determine the characteristics of the disease.
Causes of green feces in a child
The appearance of a green shade of feces in children of different ages can appear for many reasons. A chair with such a shade in a newborn baby is a sign of the immaturity of the liver and the entire gastrointestinal tract. It is possible that when breastfeeding, the baby is not getting enough nutrients due to the fact that he is not able to completely empty the breast.
When feeding with breast milk, it is important to take into account some of the nuances. The so-called "front" and "back" breast milk has different nutritional values. The milk that enters the baby's stomach first has a small proportion of fat. It is designed to quench thirst and replenish the lack of fluid in the body. Back milk is saturated with nutrients, its fat content gradually increases. If the baby does not completely suck milk from the mother's breast, he may not receive important nutrients, which will affect the structure and color of feces.
If a baby is bottle-fed, the color of his stool is also unstable. Milk formulas vary in composition and contain various trace elements, including iron, which makes feces green.
When teething occurs, the structure of a baby's stool may change because bacteria from toys and objects that the baby tries to chew on enter the intestines. The introduction of complementary foods is another reason for the appearance of a green tint in feces. It's not even about the color of the fruit or vegetable introduced into the diet, but about the immaturity of the gastrointestinal tract. Finally, it is formed only by the age of 12, so a green tint of the stool can appear in a child of any age.
When a nursing mother is poisoned, toxins from food are transferred to the infant along with breast milk.
- Rash on the skin;
- Strong smell of feces;
- Stool discoloration.
What to do if green feces appear?
If a change in the shade of feces is found, it is important to keep cool and be sure to seek the advice of a specialist.
If for some reason this cannot be done immediately, you can take preventive measures:
- If dysbiosis is suspected due to prolonged antibiotic treatment, the intestinal microflora can be restored using probiotics (Bifikol, Lactobacterin) in the form of tablets, rectal suppositories.
Treatment of the consequences of food poisoning, as a result of which the stool has acquired a green color, is neutralized with activated carbon tablets (1 pc. Per 10 kg of weight).
- When nausea and vomiting appear against the background of changes in stool characteristics, Regidron is used, the diet is changed.
It is important for a woman to follow a strict diet during breastfeeding. It is especially important to adhere to the following rules in the first months of a baby's life:
- The use of sweets, especially chocolate, is prohibited;
- Citrus fruits are prohibited;
- Other fruits and vegetables should be carefully introduced into the diet, no more than 1 type every 2-3 weeks.
This tactic will help identify foods that provoke an allergic reaction in a baby. It is quite possible that such manifestations are temporary, and a few months later the child will be able to eat the same product without harm to health.
When should you see a doctor?
Dangerous symptoms accompanying changes in the shade of feces are blood in the feces, a pronounced smell of putrefaction. The coprogram prescribed by the doctor will help to find out the reason for such changes.
What a laboratory test will show:
- Microscopic analysis of feces;
- Stool physical and chemical properties;
- The presence of helminths.
In addition, according to indications, the doctor prescribes an ultrasound of the gastrointestinal tract and other organs, gastroenteroscopy of the stomach and intestines.
After examining the condition of the liver, gastrointestinal tract, the cause of the inflammatory process and possible infection with parasites, the doctor chooses the tactics of treatment. Perhaps the patient will be prescribed pre- and probiotic therapy, diet therapy, treatment in an infectious diseases or surgical hospital.
The author of the article: Volkov Dmitry Sergeevich | c. m. n. surgeon, phlebologist
Education: Moscow State University of Medicine and Dentistry (1996). In 2003 he received a diploma from the Educational and Scientific Medical Center of the Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation.